Be back tomorrow!

Feministing is taking the day off and will be back tomorrow with our regular scheduled posting.

Note: This video is from last year, but the message still remains just as relevant.

Transcript after the jump.

October 12th is Columbus Day. A day that our government has deemed worthy of remembrance. And with all due respect — with all due respect — with all due respect — there’s an ugly truth that has been overlooked for way too long. Columbus committed heinous crimes against the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and millions of natives throughout the Americas, and Columbus set the stage for the slave trade in the New World. So please — please reconsider — if this is a man you want to honor. Reconsider if you want to celebrate the crimes of Columbus? It’s not your fault, it happened a long time ago, but remaining neutral and pretending like it didn’t happen or that it doesn’t still impact us today. So please take the day to learn the whole story. Celebrate the people who were here first. Petition for a nationally recognized indigenous holiday. So please reconsider how you plan to spend October 12th.  Reconsider the story of Columbus.

Join the Conversation

  • MadGastronomer

    So, you’re posting a video protesting Columbus Day, but you’re still taking it off as a holiday? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

    • Hannah Meyer

      Thank you for pointing that out, MadG….was definitely thinking the same thing myself. “Here’s this great feminist anti-colonial rhetoric about Columbus Day, but by the way, we’re going to voluntarily take the day off anyway because come on, it’s just a holiday.” Lol. Sorry, Feministing, but I do find this a bit odd.

      • MadGastronomer

        You’re welcome.

        Here’s the thing. I bring up these problems here at Feministing again and again: casual, unconcious racism, cissexism, and other problems, and lots and lots of hypocrisy like this. And the Feministing bloggers never, ever engage with me on it.

  • SuperCat

    I tried to go to the website but it says the domain name has expired.

  • melinda

    I do agree with the argument that is occurring due to this issue, but with Columbus how do we know that this land would have ever been discovered? The actions he performed were standard for his time but that also does not make it acceptable. America is the land of the free but we just have to respect him for the accomplishments he performed and not base that around who he was as a person. But I do believe that these individuals of different descents were the original residents of our land and should have NEVER been treated in the manner that had experienced. Without Columbus who knows what the world would have been like today but I was never aware of the crimes and wrongdoings committed by him and I can now say my opinion of him has changed as a whole.

    • Pelei

      Many other countries and peoples, on many occasions, had already “discovered” the Americas LONG before Columbus.

      On several different occasions, expeditions from Siberia landed in Alaska, Canada, and New Mexico. There’s moderate evidence that shows that Afro-Phoenicians made it to Central America around 1000 B.C.-A.D. 300. In 1000-1350, Greenland and Icelandic explorers “found” Labrador, Baffin Land, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and possibly Cape Cod and farther south! Sometime around 1311-1460-ish, West Africans “found” Haiti, Panama, and possibly Brazil. These are all expeditions which have solid evidence to back them up.

      Expeditions with a bit of evidence to back them up, came from Japan, China, Phenicia/Celtic Britian, Ireland, Polynesia, Portugal, Spain, and England- all of these expeditions precede Columbus’ 1493 “discovery” of the Americas.

      Many of these expeditions had “colonists”, who lived in the Americas for years. Columbus was just the first “discoverer” to create successful, long-term colonies here. If Columbus hadn’t done it, it was just a matter of time before someone else did.

      Also, there were Natives already in the Americas, doing just fine until Columbus showed up. You’re suggesting that these peoples didn’t have the mental capacity to develop as a culture, and eventually travel across the waves (many of them did to get here in the first place!) and make contact with other continents?

  • Jill Jackson

    In elementary schools, children are taught that Christopher Columbus was a brave individual who solely discovered the Americas. While other explorers are briefly mentioned in textbooks, Columbus is given the ultimate glorification for the discovery. Resultantly, he is placed upon a high pedestal in children’s minds and is guaranteed to be remembered as a national hero. It was not until I reached high school that I was taught the true ways of Columbus and his crew. I distinctly remember being in disbelief about the terrible accusations textbooks and my teachers gave Columbus. However, fact of the matter is that Columbus knowingly and willingly led his crew through unforgivable tasks that if repeated today would be punishable by the highest degree of law. Seeing the video on the feministing blog led me to do some research on the subject, for it had been years since I studied Columbus. I came across a quote that I think demonstrates the attitude of most feminists. “The United States honors only two men holidays bearing their names, Christopher Columbus and Martin Luther King, Jr. In January we commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., who tried to stop racial prejudice and relinquish the remaining bonds of slavery in America, and in October, we honor Christopher Columbus, who opened the Atlantic slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history (Christopher).”
    I believe that Columbus Day should not be a national holiday. If anything, the holiday should be renamed to reflect the discovery of the Americas, and not the man who discovered it. Christopher Columbus was nothing more than a self-indulging man who brought disgrace to the white race. It could be argued that no race has suffered more than the Indigenous race by cause of white man. For these reasons, America needs to pay its respects to the Indigenous people for the harm it once caused and honor the “once-oppressed” through a national holiday and celebration.
    Christopher Columbus Evil?. N.p., 24 Mar. 2007. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. .

  • Gregor Zeller

    As an active attender of Pow wow’s and other Native American events around Virginia I cannot agree more with the actions set forth in this movement. I believe wholeheartedly in diversity, which is why I believe that this Columbus Day should be replaced with a day recognizing the indigenous tribes that were thrown from their land.
    Before coming to Virginia Tech I was very, lets say, unaware about the atrocities that befell the Native Americans of this country. From slaughter, to rape, to forced religion, to enslavement, to reduced education, all the way to restricting their diets to only consisting of food that would cause diabetes, as well as other health diseases.
    I decided to join an organization here at Virginia Tech by the name of Native at VT. Where I met this amazing person. Her name is Lauren Porter and she opened my eyes to the truth behind the Native culture, civilization and people. She is the president of Native at VT. She helps Native American students from high school search for a brighter future by continuing their education. At the same time she attempts to widen the public knowledge/awareness of the Native American people of this country. She is an amazing leader and an amazing person, she gives so much time for her people and she loves them dearly. Her disgust for the crimes that have been committed to Native Americans have attached themselves to me. With her help I have become more aware of the issues following the Native world.
    I bring up this amazing character here at Tech because it is people like this who will change the way this Nation will look at what happened to a great people. Even now many tribes are having their rights taken away, as well as many tribes not even being federally recognized.

  • colechuga

    It also bothers me that feministing is taking off Columbus Day! Even if it’s “not about Columbus day,” it sure looks like it… this can be easily avoided by taking off any other day.